James scores 27 as Cavs sweep

LeBron James didn’t come close to matching his performance in Game 3.

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (23) drives to the basket as Atlanta Hawks' Al Horford defends in the second quarter of Game 4 of the NBA Eastern Conference semifinals basketball playoffs in Atlanta

Cavaliers 84 Hawks 74

ATLANTA — LeBron James didn’t come close to matching his performance in Game 3.

He did enough to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to another playoff sweep — and get in a few jabs at the Atlanta fans.

James scored 27 points and had the last word with a heckling fan at courtside as the Cavaliers finished off the Hawks 84-74 Monday night to win the second-round series in four straight.

Delonte West and Mo Williams showed Cleveland isn’t just a one-man team, hitting huge shots down the stretch as the Cavaliers managed to extend their NBA-record streak of double-digit playoff wins to eight in a row.

Cleveland, which also swept Detroit in the opening round, will face either Boston or Orlando in the Eastern Conference finals.

No matter the opponent, the Cavaliers will be a lot more rested. The Celtics-Magic series is tied 2-2 and will last at least through Thursday, while the top seed heads back to Ohio to relax for a few days before opening the next round at home.

After scoring 47 points in Game 3, James struggled with his jumper in this one. Still, he came through with the Cavaliers facing their first serious challenge of the playoffs.

With the Cavaliers leading by just four, 66-62, James hit a towering three-pointer with 6 1/2 minutes to go, lingering at the arc to pose with his right hand extended toward the arena roof.

The Hawks were still hanging around, trailing 76-72, when James drove right past Zaza Pachulia and laid it in despite getting hacked. He tacked on the free throw to complete the three-point play with 2:03 remaining.

Finally, after drawing the usual double-team, James dished off to an open Williams, who sank the clinching 3-pointer with 52 seconds left.

Mavericks 119 Nuggets 117

DALLAS — Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 of his 44 points in the fourth quarter, including a shot with 1:05 left that put the Dallas Mavericks ahead for good on their way to a 119-117 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Monday night, extending this second-round series.

Carmelo Anthony scored a career playoff-best 41 points and hit a three-pointer with 3.1 seconds left, only this time it left Denver a point shy of a tie. Dallas’ Jason Terry made a free throw with 1.1 seconds left, then missed another — perhaps intentionally — because Anthony got the rebound but couldn’t even get off a desperation heave.

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